Donald gets the paleontology right in this introduction to fossilized tracks and trackways but crams it into verse that is, to put it mildly, dreadful.
“Down by the river and in the rock— / what are these marks I see? / In some you can lie and curl up inside, / and some have toes of three.” Quality of the poetry aside, Donald nonetheless begins by accurately explaining how prehistoric footprints were made and then discovered. She expands on the topic with a tour of dino environments, from tropical river banks to polar snows—noting along the way the distinctive sorts of marks left by single passersby and by herds; by adults and juveniles; by feet and, much more rarely, tails and even wings. Along with occasional visual segues from ancient times to modern, Morrison supplies winningly melodramatic close-up views of toothy predators and well-armored herbivores displaying colorfully patterned skin, scales or feathers. Closing notes (in prose, thankfully) and quizzes provide reinforcement and additional background.
Passable art and content, but the narrative presentation couldn’t be worse. (map) (Informational picture book. 7-9)